Another Transition Exception

I just knew that there would be more. KTVH in Helena, Montana, has joined the ranks of the early converters to digital broadcasts. Their transmission tower is located above 8,000 feet on Hogback Mountain (no kidding!) can be a bit difficult to work on in February weather, so they decided to make the switch on November 10 before the conditions turned nasty.

According to one report in TV Technology, the people who called the station to report problems with the transition were mostly elderly women. One happy discovery was that instead of many viewers having problems with weak signals, many reported that they were able to get the digital signal even though they had not been able to receive the station’s analog signal in the past.

Note that KTVH was the only station in the Helena market to make the transition early. The other area stations will continue their analog broadcasts until the February 17, 2009 date for the national transition. It may well be that some viewers have simply accepted the loss of the one station for now, and the number of calls will be even larger when the other stations make the switch.

Here’s a thought that I wonder if anyone has considered; what will the effect be on the national telephone infrastructure when thousands of viewers across the country start calling their local stations on February 17? You may want to plan on taking a phone holiday that day, just in case.